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Are you that vain?

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Are you that vain?

Old 08-21-20, 10:03 AM
  #1  
GlennR
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Are you that vain?

This topic is to discuss how vanity and aesthetics affect our purchase decisions. This was a glaring issue in the Di2 vs AXS when it came to the size of the external batteries.

Most people seem to have deep seated feelings for one groupset manufacture over another. For an example i'll use Shimano and Sram, we all know Campy owners are fanatical.

You finally have the money to buy your dream bike and with the current shortages, your LBS called and they have it in your favorite color and size. You always wanted a red bike and hate blue. You get there any there it is, perfect color, deep carbon wheels, electronic groupset.. perfect. Except it has Sram Red on it and you wanted Dura Ace. You tell the salesperson your disappointment but they say "we also have one with Dura Ace". Same exact bike, same wheels, bars, saddle and it has Dura Ace Di2... except it's blue. So you tell the salesperson that you hate blue. They tell you they have a 3rd bike, exact same as the first but with Ultegra Di2.

So.. which do you buy? The color you want that has a different top tier groupset, the color you hate with the groupset you want or the color you want with a lower level groupset.

Does the aesthetics matter over equipment?

Do you ride with a saddle bag or put everything in your jersey pocket because it looks better.... or you do it because its' more convenient?
Does your kit match your bike? Do you wear teak kit and would you ever wear mismatched jersey and bibs because that's all that's clean?
Do you look at the storefronts to see your reflection when riding through a business district?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

To me aesthetics does count but it's below function.

Yes, my bike is satin black with red accents and Sram Red is black with red as is the Zipp wheels, but the satin black was to minimize the loudness of my previous bike. I had Sram Rival on it and was sticking with Sram and the Zipp wheels had an option for the decals.... so why not.

I only own black bibs since they go with everything and none of my jerseys were picked to match the bike, but the LBS that I bought it from gave me one and their colors are red and black... just worked out.

So... be honest.
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Old 08-21-20, 10:18 AM
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MSchott
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Iíd get the third option, the Ultegra group. Iím not anti-Sram but Iíve found Shimano to be ultra reliable.
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Old 08-21-20, 10:21 AM
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Originally Posted by MSchott View Post
Iíd get the third option, the Ultegra group. Iím not anti-Sram but Iíve found Shimano to be ultra reliable.
Thanks for being honest.

I've seen some hideous bikes and I might of gone a 4th option and repainted it
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Old 08-21-20, 10:22 AM
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I am equipment over color, within reason. I wouldnít ride a purple and green frame no matter what was on it.
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Old 08-21-20, 10:23 AM
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I love my blue Fuji SL2.1 with Ultegra Di2. And a seat bag.


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Old 08-21-20, 10:26 AM
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"To a degree" would be my answer. I would not buy something I couldn't stand the looks of, but I have bought things that were not aesthetically my "favorite." Aesthetic preferences are so funny really, because they are so subjective. I have a friend who loves a particular color, which also happens to be my least favorite color. Any bike he thinks falls into the "fantastic" category, goes straight to my "meh" bin. It also has to do with how much money is involved. I found a steal on an old trainer bike, and it happens to be the "meh" color. I could live with it for an inside bike at a low price. But for a new dedicated steed, it had better excite me with function as well as form. I'm lucky that I don't have deeply entrenched loyalties to one groupset mfgr over another (Campy/SRAM/Shimano). I think if they did what I needed them to do I would ride any of them. I have a design background, and what I do get hung up on is form and finish. The bike might have all of my performance criteria met, price criteria met, but either have really strange proportions (IMO) or be a color/finish that just turns me off. That would be a deal killer for me. I'm pretty balanced though - if it was a killer looking frame with weak components I wouldn't buy it either.
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Old 08-21-20, 10:29 AM
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What model bike? Between aesthetics and function it depends. Aesthetics in form can make or break too as well as the aesthetics of color.

If function is similar across the group sets, then aesthetics will win out. If aesthetics is very high on one, then that might even win out on function.
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Old 08-21-20, 10:38 AM
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There are too many beautiful bikes to ride an ugly one. Which is which is entirely subjective, but I very much doubt many people spend nice-bike money on a bike they think is ugly.
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Old 08-21-20, 10:39 AM
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I would go with option 3 as well. Ultegra Di2 is more than enough for me. I've got to at least like the color and style of the bike, it doesn't have to be over the top though. While I find black bikes okay, I think that many manufacturers take the lazy approach and make them uninteresting for the most part. Saddle bag - I have one, tried stuffing everything into a water bottle as well which didn't quite work for me. I'm careful with what I put in my back pockets in case of fall - cell phone and food if necessary only. I have a frame pump mounted on the side of the seat tube water bottle holder, as well as CO2. Black shorts so any jersey top will work - my bike is mostly white so anything will work. No billboard advertising for me, just low-key jerseys since I'm old and slow. Passing a storefront window, you got to take a peek, amiright? ;-)
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Old 08-21-20, 10:51 AM
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You can always keep riding the bike you currently have and wait. Your tastes/wants may change in a week/month or two. No real reason to just settle.
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Old 08-21-20, 10:56 AM
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I usually build my bikes from a frameset, so I get exactly the build I want.
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Old 08-21-20, 11:06 AM
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Originally Posted by cb400bill View Post
I love my blue Fuji SL2.1 with Ultegra Di2. And a seat bag.
Nothing personal... just had to pick 2 colors
------------------------------------------------------------------------
And this was assuming you might not be able to get a bike for a long period due to the pandemic shortages.

Yes, under normal circumstance most would wait.
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Old 08-21-20, 11:41 AM
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seypat
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I have a 2008 Mazda 5 that is getting long in the tooth. The only real replacements for it is the Ford Transit Connect and the Little Dodge mini van. I've been waiting for 2 or 3 years for Ford to put a more powerful engine and work out the transmission issues in the Connect. Still waiting, and the Mazda keeps on going. One of these days, it will be replaced, but not right now.
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Old 08-21-20, 11:52 AM
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Originally Posted by GlennR View Post
And this was assuming you might not be able to get a bike for a long period due to the pandemic shortages.

Yes, under normal circumstance most would wait.
Manufacturers are starting to release 2021 models, so the wait is about to become a non-issue.
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Old 08-21-20, 11:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Bah Humbug View Post
There are too many beautiful bikes to ride an ugly one. Which is which is entirely subjective, but I very much doubt many people spend nice-bike money on a bike they think is ugly.
Exactly - the dichotomy of having to choose between "looks" and "performance" is a false one. In this day and age, you can find something that hits both.

Decision-making on stuff like this is not either-or - it is weighted multi-criteria. People will likely trade off a little bit of performance for looks, but not too much. And vice versa. Eg: I wanted an aero road bike. Narrowed it down to the big 4 - Cannondale, S5, Venge and Madone. I ruled out the Cannondale cos it was ugly AF, even though it was the fastest (although not by much). Of the remaining 3, i actually *loved* the looks of the Madone more but hated the ride quality. Loved the ride feel of the Venge. Got the Venge. So I have ruled out the best-rated bike because I hated the looks, but picked the Venge over the Madone because of the performance. How do you rate that?

In the example above - I would not pick the blue bike. I would pick the red bike - would try out both and see which shifting I liked better. If it was a draw, I'd go with Red, just cos I would prefer the higher-end groupset. Given a choice between equivalent groupsets, I'd pick Shimano at present because it is about 300gm lighter. Does it matter from a performance POV? Nope. Does it make my fat 180lb ass feel nicer? Hell yes.

PS - and not everyone who doesnt like SRAM is a hater or buying just for looks.
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Old 08-21-20, 12:03 PM
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Originally Posted by guadzilla View Post
PS - and not everyone who doesnt like SRAM is a hater or buying just for looks.
Depends if you have reasons or "just because".
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Old 08-21-20, 12:07 PM
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then you probably think this song is about You..

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Old 08-21-20, 12:13 PM
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I'm pretty picky with looks of my bikes, but only for my main bike.
I ordered that one bought Trek's Project One program, and had them do a paint job that wasn't offered at the time, it was a variation of one of the options.
So using this, I got exactly what I wanted (to a certain extent, I didn't like the chainrings on Sram Red, but have since changer to the black ones).
I do draw the line with comfort though, I won't compromise on bars/seat/tape/helmet/kit, but I will try to get something that looks good.
And I hate when the bike is dirty.
But things like non-matching tires, uneven bar-tape etc drive me nuts.
On my backup bike, I'm not nearly as picky, same with my gravel bike.
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Old 08-21-20, 12:23 PM
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This is a "multi-factor, drifting weight decision making" problem. Those are tricky tricky to model. Preferences are inter-related, like... blue is great, red is better, and green is just OK, until I have to take Sora, then I'll only take blue, but I would take green with 105, and I would never take even blue with DI2 unless it was tubeless but not with rim brakes..." But, I'm plenty vain, if that's what we're really trying to get to... <snicker>
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Old 08-21-20, 12:24 PM
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Option 4. Get them to swap groupsets on the red and blue bikes.
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Old 08-21-20, 12:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Dancing Skeleton View Post
I'm pretty picky with looks of my bikes, but only for my main bike.
I ordered that one bought Trek's Project One program,
Same... I felt that if i was spending stupid money, I should get what i want. So i got satin black with minimal logos. Sort of looks like a rattle can paint job from a few feet away.

On my previous bike I was waiting at a red light when the passenger of a pickup truck said "that looks like a nice bike, I bet its very expensive". The light turned green and I decided to make a right turn instead of going straight. The truck turned also which was odd because thy didn't have a turn signal. So I took off and rode through a faw parking lots.

I ride mostly myself so I wanted a bike that didn't look fancy.
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Old 08-21-20, 12:29 PM
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To answer the question, I'd take Ultegra Di2, but if it were available I'd be fine with 105 Di2. However, to be clear, if it's a color I hate it's not my dream bike.
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Old 08-21-20, 12:39 PM
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Why are you under the impression people dislike SRAM due to aesthetics? SRAM's aesthetics are the least of my issue with their drivetrain. Reliability, crappy shifting, and world class garbage braking give me enough reason to stay away from an inferior product.
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Old 08-21-20, 12:45 PM
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Why you gotta make a thread about me?
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Old 08-21-20, 12:55 PM
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Bah Humbug
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Originally Posted by Noctilux.95 View Post
Why are you under the impression people dislike SRAM due to aesthetics? SRAM's aesthetics are the least of my issue with their drivetrain. Reliability, crappy shifting, and world class garbage braking give me enough reason to stay away from an inferior product.
Yeah for me it was really more about my old Rival left shifter breaking off in my hand while attempting a front shift. Fortunately it was on the trainer, but that weekend I had the shop put on 105 and I havenít touched SRAM since.

I think heís making an allusion to another thread in which there was a complaint that the batteries on eTap derailleurs were bulky-looking and ugly.
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